Creating Jobs And Transforming Melbourne’s Creative Heart

14 November 2021

The Andrews Labor Government will revitalise Arts Centre Melbourne with new parklands, cafes and restaurants, and extensive restoration of the State Theatre – reinvigorating the heart of Australia’s cultural capital.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today announced an additional $241 million for the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation.

The extra funding brings the Labor Government’s investment to $1.7 billion and means the project will create more than 11,000 jobs over the life of the build.

The upgrade will include two new restaurants and bars at the northern end of 18,000sqm of new elevated public parkland connecting Hamer Hall to the new NGV Contemporary.

The State Theatre will undergo its most significant refurbishment since it was built – improving accessibility, making seating more comfortable and upgrading acoustics.

To ensure the State Theatre can continue delivering world-class performances, the project will also upgrade back of house facilities, build new rehearsal spaces and create two new loading docks.

Technology at the theatre will be overhauled with new state-of-the-art lighting, sound system upgrades and new live streaming capabilities – bringing the creative icon into the 21st Century.

Important works will also be carried out on the building’s uniquely engineered foundation and basement structure, upgrading decades-old corrosion prevention systems.

The new parkland and open space in the precinct will be a hub for festivals and the city’s dynamic array of cultural, artistic and community organisations – hosting major events, live performances and new public art.

The Government is fast-tracking investment in the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation to reduce disruption to our creative calendar and bring more performances to the stage sooner.

Expressions of Interest for the Northern Package – which focuses on the State Theatre works – will open on Wednesday, 23 November.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson

“The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation will create thousands of local jobs and cement Victoria’s reputation as cultural capital of the country.”

“The vital works to the State Theatre will transform the building inside and out, making it more accessible and comfortable, and keeping it at the cutting edge of live performance venues in the country.”

Quote attributable to Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer AM

“Restoring this site to its original glory is a wonderful legacy for the people of Victoria and our new restaurants and bars will transform the visitor experience.”

Reviewed 14 November 2021

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